Pan-Fried Dover Sole with Capers and Lemon is a fast and easy-to-make fish dish for a busy weeknight. This meal comes together in less than 20 minutes!
I made fish the other day and was pleased to hear my 17 year old say that she loved it so much, she wished we’d have it more often. We made pan-fried Dover Sole at mom’s house last weekend. The nice thing about fish, is how quickly it cooks up in either a frying pan, or in the oven.
Paired with left-over mashed potatoes and broccoli, it’s the kind of meal that you can throw together in a half hour or less on a busy night. You can use this method and sauce with any fish, such as calamari steaks, tilapia or sand dabs.
This pan-fried Dover sole recipe is also Whole30 and Paleo adaptable.
Just omit the rice or regular flour when pan-frying and use clarified butter.
The taste sensation of true Dover sole
Of all the fish eaten today, the Dover sole is one of the most expensive. It is also one of the most delicious, with a unique taste and texture. Despite pan-fried Dover sole being our most expensive fish dish (€31.95 for three courses), it remains one of our most popular. Comments on TripAdvisor include:
“Had the Dover sole tonight and it was absolutely outstanding.” Jean J
“My husband’s steak was cooked to perfection and my Dover sole was delicious.” CheekyLondon
If you’ve never eaten Dover sole, you are missing one of the best treats in life. Here’s a little info about this majestic fish to whet your appetite.
What is Dover sole?
Before describing the characteristics of Dover sole, it’s worth looking at the general characteristics of flatfish, which are:
One side of the fish is pigmented and the other isn’t
A flatfish is either right-eyed or left-eyed
They have a continuous anal fin that stops before the caudal fin
They have a continuous dorsal fin that stops before the caudal fin
Dover sole is a right-eyed flatfish – it has its mouth on the left side, as do all true members of the sole family. Dover sole lives only in the sea waters stretching from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. If you’ve had Dover sole in America and were disappointed, it’s because they’ve sold you ‘West Coast’ or Pacific Dover sole – not a patch on the real thing.
Dover sole is thick-bodied, but never larger than around 16 to 20 inches in length.
So, why is Dover sole called Dover sole? Simply because of the quantity of this species that could be fished by the UK’s fishing fleet, and that the fleet fishing out of Dover supplied more to Billingsgate Fish Market than any other. The best Dover sole is said to be caught in the North Sea of the Bay of Biscay.
What sauce is best with Dover sole?
While it is easily accompanied by a heavy European sauce, such as a béarnaise, I prefer to pair it with a lemon parsley butter or homemade tartar sauce. This gives the dish just a little extra something without distracting from the incredible taste sensation that is Dover sole.
What wine should you pair with Dover sole?
Deciding what wine you should pair with fish can be difficult. With Dover sole, you mustn’t mask the flavour with the wine. So, we would recommend that you select a Chablis, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc – a dry, delicate, and neutral white.